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Friday, January 1, 2016

First Day Hike @ Rainbow Springs State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 8:00am to 10:00am EST

Free with regular $2 per person park admission.

More Information:
Amanda Marek, 352-465-8520

Located in the Northeast region at:
Rainbow Springs State Park
19158 SW 81st Place Road
Dunnellon, FL 34432

Welcome the New Year with a beautiful hike through Rainbow Springs State Park! Join us for good exercise and some good stories about the unique history of this area and how it has changed over the years as you stroll past old cisterns, phosphate pits, waterfalls and pine forests. Hikers should be prepared to walk on uneven unpaved terrain for up to 2.5 miles and 2 hours long in primarily shaded habitat.

 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Program Flyer

No RSVP necessary. Join us at the Headsprings veranda to start the hike. Please wear closed-toed shoes, bug and sun protection and bring water.

A River Runs Through It - 1st Day Hike @ Hillsborough River State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 8:00am to 10:00am EST

Regular park entry fees apply.

More Information:
Ranger Station: (813) 987-6771

Located in the Southwest region at:
Hillsborough River State Park
15402 US 301 N.
Thonotosassa, FL 33592

Come join Park Services Specialist Alex Kinder as he guides visitors along the Rapids Trail. This trail is truly a beautiful example of why Hillsborough River State Park is "where history and nature come together"! This is a great opportunitiy to start off the New Year with a healthy mind, body and spirit.
Total walking distance is approximately 1.2 miles, and may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on group interaction and trail conditions. Please bring appropriate clothing for a cool, mostly shady walk. We recommend bringing closed footwear, water, and bug spray to use if needed. Meet at the Smokehouse Pavilion where the hike will begin and we will finish at the Recreation Hall.
 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Sebastian Inlet State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 8:00am to 10:00am EST

Free with paid park admission.

More Information:
Terry O'Toole 772-388-2750

Located in the Central region at:
Sebastian Inlet State Park
9700 South Highway A.1.A.
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951

Start the New Year off with a "First Day Hike" at Sebastian Inlet State Park.  We will meet at the T-Dock on the south side of Sebastian Inlet, at 8 AM.  This ranger-led, moderately-paced walk along the inlet and beach is two miles in length.  Please: no pets and no smoking.  Bring a water bottle, comfortable walking shoes, bug spray, hat and sun protection.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Kissimmee Prairie First Day Hike @ Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 8:00am to 11:00am EST

Park entrance fees apply.

More Information:
863-462-5360

Located in the Central region at:
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
33104 NW 192nd Ave.
Okeechobee, FL 34972

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park will be hosting a First Day Hike, to celebrate hiking in Florida State Parks!  Come join volunteer Tim on January 1st. Two hikes will be offered that day at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., both will be an hour in duration. To participate, meet at the Preserve office.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 8:00am EST

Guided walk is free, but park admission fees apply.

Fee at this location is $4 per vehicle parked at the La Chua Trail parking lot; cash only.   

More Information:
Ranger Station, 352-466-3397

Located in the Northeast region at:
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
100 Savannah Blvd
Micanopy, FL 32667

What better way to start the new year than with a hike in the great outdoors.  Take a walk on the wild side and explore an area of Paynes Prairie where you may see alligators, wild horses, many species of birds, and more!  Begin the new year by joining a ranger for a walk on La Chua Trail at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.

Meet in the La Chua Trail parking lot, at the trailhead, at 8:00 AM.  No sign up or registration required.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike / Adventure Trek @ Highlands Hammock State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 8:30am to 10:00am EST

Park entry fees of $6.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people per car) and $4.00 per single occupant vehicle apply.

More Information:
Call the Ranger Station at 863-386-6094 for more information.

Located in the Southwest region at:
Highlands Hammock State Park
5931 Hammock Road
Sebring , FL 33872

Take a journey back in time to primitive Florida with Ranger Laura McMullen.  Walk along the Ancient Hammock Trail for a quarter of a mile, before turning off and heading deep into old growth hammock.  Hikers will climb over tree limbs and stoop under palm fronds to explore a long abandoned remnant trail that is now wild and overgrown for another quarter of a mile.  This “off the beaten path” trek emerges on to the Loop at Cottage Road.  Visitors may then walk back to Ancient Hammock for approximately one half mile via the Loop Road.  The Adventure Trek is a challenging way to greet the New Year!  This is an arduous field trip and the “degree of difficulty” ranges from moderate to difficult.  Registration for this field trip is required as participation is limited.  Sign up by calling the Ranger Station at 863-386-6094 and pressing 0, or contacting Ranger Laura via email:  laura.mcmullen@dep.state.fl.us.  Meet at the Ancient Hammock Trail at 8:30 a.m.  The hike will cover approximately 1 mile and take approximately 90 minutes.  Please dress for the weather and wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes, long pants and protective clothing.  Visitors are also advised to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, water and snacks.  Walking sticks will be very helpful and binoculars and cameras are welcome.  See Additional Information.  

Additional Information:

Portions of the Adventure Trek are located in restricted wilderness areas of the park.  There are no restroom facilities along the Ancient Hammock Trail, so visitors are advised to stop at the restroom in the picnic area prior to the hike.  Florida State Parks are in various stages of accessibility.  To learn more about the participation requirements for this activity, please see the EEC ADVENTURE TREK.

EEC ADVENTURE TREK

First Day Hike @ Little Talbot Island State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 8:30am to 10:30am EST

No reservations are necessary and the program is free with $5 park entrance fee.

More Information:
Ranger Station, 904-251-2320

Located in the Northeast region at:
Little Talbot Island State Park
12157 Heckscher Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32226

Join a park ranger for a four mile hike along the Dune Ridge Trail. Take in the sights and sounds of the maritime hammock forest and the Atlantic shoreline as you start the New Year off on the right foot.

Additional Information:

The program will start at the North Beach Parking Area of Little Talbot Island State Park at Pavilion Six. Please bring water, sunscreen, bug spray and wear sturdy shoes.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Paynes Creek Historic State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 11:00am EST

Park entry fees will apply

More Information:
1-863-375-4717

Located in the Southwest region at:
Paynes Creek Historic State Park
888 Lake Branch Road
Bowling Green, FL 33834

First Day Hike, participants will hike through the park's natural communities and visit each of the park's historic sites. The hike will start at the Visitor's Center with an interpretive tour before the hike begins. Historic site include; Fort Chokonikla, Kennedy-Darling Trading Store, and Captain Payne/D. Whiddon Monument. Along the way, hikers will experience a variety of native plants and animals, the historic Peace River, and oxbow lakes with alligators.

First Day Hike: "Who Owns the Creek"? @ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 10:00am EST

The fee for the walk will be $3.00 per car (park entry fee.)  If visitors stay for the historic house tour, tickets are an additional $3.00 per adult and $2.00 per child 6-12 years.

 

More Information:
Carrie Todd, Park Ranger (352) 466-3672

Located in the Northeast region at:
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
18700 S. CR 325
Cross Creek, FL 32640

Find out "who owns the Creek" by joining Park Ranger Carrie Todd for a guided walk through Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' favorite haunts, while listening to short passages from her work which describe Rawlings' experiences and enchantment with nature in Cross Creek.

Additional Information:

The walking event does not include a tour of the historic house, but will conclude in time for participants to join the first tour of the day if desired. There is an additional fee for house tours.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike at the Wildlife Park @ Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 10:30am EST

Regular park admission will apply.  

More Information:
Susan Strawbridge; (352) 628-5445, ext. 1002 or (352) 628-5343

Located in the Northeast region at:
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 S. Suncoast Blvd. (US 19)
Homosassa, FL 34446

Start the year off on the right foot with a Ranger-guided first day walk through Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. You'll learn about the park's wildlife along the way. You can meet the Park Ranger at 9:00am and the walk will start at 9:15 am.

Download the First Day Hike flyer!

Additional Information:

  Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Fort Clinch State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 12:00pm EST

Park Entrance Fee applies

More Information:
Fort Clinch State Park, (904) 277-7274

Located in the Northeast region at:
Fort Clinch State Park
2601 Atlantic Ave
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Celebrate the New Year by attending our guided First Day Hike with a Park Ranger.  This moderate hike will traverse 6 miles of multi-use trails throughout Fort Clinch State Park.  Please remember to wear appropriate shoes, bring a snack and water bottle. 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Colt Creek State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 12:00pm EST

Regular park admission fees apply.

More Information:
Park Services Specialist Kimberly Hars, 863-815-6761, kimberly.hars@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Central region at:
Colt Creek State Park
16000 SR 471
Lakeland, FL 33809

Bring in the New Year with a hike through nature! Take a guided interpretive hike with a Ranger or bring your camera and capture the beauty of Colt Creek State Park on a guided photography hike. Refreshments will be available from Friends of Colt Creek State Park.

First Day Nature and History Hike @ De Leon Springs State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 12:00pm EST

Regular park entrance fees apply:  $6.00 for 2-8 people in a vehicle, $4.00 for a single occupant and $2.00 for pedestrians and bicyclists.

More Information:
386-985-4212

Located in the Central region at:
De Leon Springs State Park
601 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
De Leon Springs, FL 32130

There's no better way to kick off a healthy New Year than to join Assistant Park Manager Dave Garcia on a guided walk-about through a river floodplain and mixed upland forest. We'll explore the park's Persimmon Trail, discussing the nature and history that abounds there. You will learn how the Mayaca hunted and gathered for thousands of years, existing on the bounty of the nearby spring and forests.

Total walking distance is approximately 4 miles, depending on group interaction and trail conditions. Please bring appropriate clothing for a cool, mostly shady walk. We recommend bringing closed footwear, water, and bug spray to use if needed. Meet at the Visitor Center. The tour takes around 2.5-3 hours.

It is the park's goal to make programs available to visitors of all abilities. If you are interested and have any special needs, please call the park at 386-985-4212. 

Additional Information:

Participant Requirements

First Day Hike @ Troy Spring State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 10:00am EST

Free to participants with paid park entrance fee-PREREGISTRATION REQUIRED BY CALLING CONTACT

More Information:
Tina Miller tina.miller@dep.state.fl.us 386-688-3488

Located in the Northeast region at:
Troy Spring State Park
674 NE Troy Springs Road
Branford, FL 32008

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED 386-688-3488 Start the New Year off right with a ranger guided walk along the nature trail and Troy Spring!

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Go Take-a-Hike @ Fort Cooper State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am EST

The regular entrance fee of $3.00 per vehicle, up to 8 people.

More Information:
Harry Mitchell, Park Manager

Located in the Northeast region at:
Fort Cooper State Park
3100 S. Old Floral City Rd.
Inverness, FL 34450

Join a ranger on a leisurely walk to the Old Fort Site where the Second Seminole War took place back in 1836. 

Additional Information:

  Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 11:00am EST

Free with regular park admission.

More Information:


Located in the Southeast region at:
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
1200 South Crandon Boulevard
Key Biscayne, FL 33149

 

Participants will begin the New Year by journeying with a ranger through one of Florida’s breathtaking ecosystems while learning interesting facts about the native plants, animals and the ecosystem. The hike will last approximately one hour and will begin at the parking lot at Boaters Grill. Program is limited to the first thirty participants.

All ages are welcome and minors must be accompanied by an adult. Sturdy shoes and long pants, sunscreen, insect repellant and drinking water are recommended. Participants should take caution around roots, rocks and low branches, and soft sand which are abundant on the trail and beach. Special accommodations are available upon request prior to the event.

 

 

 

 

First Day Hike 2016 @ Bald Point State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 10:00am EST

Day use entry fee - $4.00 per vehicle up to 8 people.

More Information:
Bald Point office 850-349-9146

Located in the Northwest region at:
Bald Point State Park
146 Box Cut Road
Alligator Point, FL 32346

Join Ranger Bill for a 1.1 mile First Day Hike along the Maritime Hammock Loop trail.  The trailhead is located across from the restrooms at Maritime Beach at the North Point entrance of Bald Point State Park.

Additional Information:

This is a moderate hike that does include some hiking through sand.  Bring sunscreen, drinking water and bug repellent. Route does include hiking through sand.  Bring sunscreen, drinking water and bug repellent.

 

First Day Hike @ Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 12:00pm EST

Free with paid park entrance fee.

More Information:
Linda Trice (850)487-4556

Located in the Northwest region at:
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
3540 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32309

Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park invites the public to join our staff for a hike along the Lake Overstreet Trails. Along this hike you will see views of Lake Overstreet and the magnificent variety of woodland plants. The hike is along an uneven surface along some sections of the sloped trail. These trails get you outdoors and give you a chance for some exercise and fresh air. Come out and hike with a Park Ranger and enjoy the fellowship.

Additional Information:

 The program will be held on New Year’s Day from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Please dress appropriately for a woodland walk and bring water, sunscreen and insect repellant.

Participation Requirements

New Year's Day Hike @ Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 11:30am EST

$6.00 per vehicle, maximum 8 people; $4.00 for single occupants in a vehicle; $2.00 each for extra passengers.

More Information:
Administration Office, 386-497-4690 or 386-497-1216.

Located in the Northeast region at:
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
12087 SW U.S. Highway 27
Fort White, FL 32038

Ring in the New Year with a refreshing journey of renewal: an invigorating winter hike along the Ichetucknee River!  We will begin at the Ichetucknee Head Spring and follow its course adjacent the Trestle Point Trail.  We will then traverse the park’s fabulous sandhills along the Pine Ridge Trail.  This two-mile hike promises a wonderful variety of wildlife through a cross-section of the park’s major plant communities.

We will meet at the North Entrance, off County Road 238, at the Head Spring parking area.  This special event is in coordination with America’s State Parks First Day Hikes celebration, promoting year-round recreation, physical activity, and healthy lifestyles.

Additional Information:

Sturdy hiking shoes and winter-appropriate clothing are highly recommended for this moderately easy hike in a nature trail setting.  The first portion of the hike will be in a shaded hammock close to the river, and the second portion will be through an open, sunny, pinewoods.  Sunscreen and water will be useful to bring along.  Pets are allowed on the trails on six-foot, hand-held leashes only.  This ranger-led hike is open for all ages.

Participation Requirements

 

Guided Hike & Bike @ Oscar Scherer State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am EST

There is no cost to participate in either portion other than normal park entrance fees for day-use visitors

($2.00 for pedestrians/bicyclists entering the park from the Legacy Trail; cost for vehicles varies based on occupancy.)

More Information:
Ranger Station 941-483-5956

Located in the Southwest region at:
Oscar Scherer State Park
1843 South Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229

This two-part program is conducted by a Ranger or Volunteer. Hike time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00a.m. Bike time: 10:30 a.m. to noon. The guide will take you on an informative walk along one of the six trails in the park.  If you’re interested in taking your journey a step further, stay for the second portion of the program which includes a leisurely bike ride along the Green Trail and a portion of the Legacy Trail. The bike ride is about 12 miles round-trip. Participants must provide their own bikes; road and trail bikes are ok. Children under 16 years of age must wear a helmet while bicycling. Both portions of the program begin at the Nature Center. Remember to bring plenty of drinking water.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 10:00pm EST

Free with $3.00 park admission fee.

More Information:
Contact our Park Education Center at (772) 398-2779 for more information

Located in the region at:
, FL

Come Join a Park Ranger for an interpretative hike explaining the many interesting plants and wildlife through out our precious ecosystems.

First Day Hike @ Stump Pass Beach State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 11:00am EST

Event is Free with $3 per vehicle park entrance fee.

More Information:
941-964-0375

Located in the Southwest region at:
Stump Pass Beach State Park
South end of Manasota Key 900 Gulf Blvd
Englewood, FL 34233

Stump Pass State Park is excited to participate in the National First Day Hike held January 1st, 2016 at 9 A.M.  Meet at the picnic pavilion at the trail head near the restrooms.  Program includes topics related to the park’s natural resources.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, sunscreen and drinking water are recommended.  The beach walk is approximately 2 miles long and will last approximately 2 hours. 

First Day Hike @ St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am EST

The program is free with regular park entry.

 

More Information:
Park office: (772) 219-1880

Located in the Southeast region at:
St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
Offshore Island
Port Salerno, FL 34997

Come start of the New Year with a hike at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park! This ranger led hike will take you through pristine maritime hammock and mangrove communities. During the leisurely 0.75 mile hike on the park's boardwalk, various plant species will be identified along with some interesting facts about them. 

Additional Information:

Please meet at the ranger station/rest room area at the top of the docks at 9:00 am.  Recommended items include bug spray, drinking water and sunscreen.

First Day Hike @ Seabranch Preserve State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am EST

This program is free with park admission.

More Information:
Park office: (772) 219-1880

Located in the Southeast region at:
Seabranch Preserve State Park
Trailhead - 6093 SE Dixie Highway, Stuart, Florida
Stuart, FL 34997

Join us at Seabranch Preserve State Park on New Year's Day for a ranger guided hike on the park's native plant trail! The 0.5 mile hike will take place in the park's sand pine scrub habitat where you will see and learn about many of the plant species found within this community. If you are lucky maybe you will come across a scrub jay or gopher tortoise during your hike! Come start off your New Year with a morning hike at one of your Florida State Parks.

Additional Information:

Please meet at the parking/picnic area at 9:00am.  Recommended items include drinking water, bug spray and sunscreen.

First Day Hike at Lake Louisa State Park @ Lake Louisa State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 11:00am EST

Regular entrance fees apply:

$5 per vehicle for up to 8 people and $4 per vehicle for single person vehicles.

More Information:


Located in the Central region at:
Lake Louisa State Park
7305 U.S. Highway 27
Clermont, FL 34714

Bring in the New Year with a commitment to a healthier lifestyle by taking a morning Hike. A Park Ranger and Park Volunteer will guide you along a 2 mile section of the parks 20 mile trail system. Along the way you will have the opportunity to learn about the park's cultural and natural history. The surface of the trail is primarily mowed grass and sandy surface with some elevation changes so be sure to dress appropriately and bring drinking water and insect repellant along. Feel free to bring a snack or even a picnic lunch to enjoy afterwards. Leashed dogs are welcome on the parks trails but NOT during this guided hike. Service animals are always welcome. To RSVP and or to get additional information please call the Ranger Station at (352) 394-3969.

First Day Hike led by Park Ranger @ Myakka River State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:30am to 10:30am EST

Entrance fees to the park are $6 per vehicle for up to eight people, $4 per vehicles with just one person, $4 per motorcycle and $2 for bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

More Information:
Ranger Station 941-361-6511

Located in the Southwest region at:
Myakka River State Park
13208 State Road 72
Sarasota, FL 34241

Come join a park ranger who will guide you through oak hammocks, cabbage palms and wetlands on The Boylston Nature Trail at Myakka River State Park. This leisurely walk in the woods will give you a taste of The Real Florida. The trail is mostly hard packed sand with some sandier areas, but all relatively easy and enjoyable. Meet at The Boylston Trail trailhead at 9:30. The ranger station can give you directions and a map when you arrive at the park.

Additional Information:

You may want to bring bug spray, water, and a camera. Wear comfortable clothing including tennis shoes. Have fun!

Essential Eligibility Criteria for First Day Hike at Myakka

 

 

First Day Hike @ Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:30am to 11:00am EST

Park Entrance Fees apply, only $4.00 per vehicle.

More Information:
Alex Creager Alex.Creager@dep.state.fl.us (386) 776-2194

Located in the Northeast region at:
Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park
18532 180th Street
Live Oak, FL 32060

Join us for the very first annual First Day Hike at Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park! Every year First Day Hikes happen in state parks all over the United States. It’s an excellent way to start the New Year. People of all ages and hiking ability are welcome to join us for a leisurely walk on the 1.2 mile interpretive hiking trail. Enjoy scenic views of the springs and sinks that dot the Park property.  The interpretive trail follows the pathways that SCUBA divers use underground!  Meet the ranger at the first parking lot before proceeding down to the trailhead near the main spring.   We hope to see you there!

Additional Information:

Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times and are not permitted in the water.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Crystal River Archaeological State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:30am EST

Guided walk is free, but park admission fees apply.

Fee at this location is $3 per vehicle.

More Information:
Park Ranger Kirrin Peart, 352-795-3817 Kirrin.Peart@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northeast region at:
Crystal River Archaeological State Park
3400 N. Museum Point
Crystal River, FL 34428

Welcome in the New Year by taking a journey into prehistory. Join a ranger for a one hour guided walk through a pre-Columbian, Native American burial and ceremonial site.

Meet at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park Museum at 9:00am. No sign up or registration required.

Additional Information:

Hikers should be prepared to walk on uneven paved terrain for up to 1 mile.

Participant Requirements

Cow Camp @ Lake Kissimmee State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:30am to 4:30pm EST

Free with regular park admission

More Information:
Park Service Specialist Andrea Henry 863-696-1112 or andrea.Henry@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Central region at:
Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Rd.
Lake Wales , FL 33898

As you meander down the trail to the cow camp, you will travel back in time to 1876.

At the end of the trail you will find a Florida Cow Hunter in a frontier camp along the route of a cattle drive. He will be cooking, making coffee, tending to the cattle or just resting up until the next round up or drive. The cow hunter will be happy to share stories about what his life is like and the challenges he faces.

Available upon request for groups of 15 or more.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Wekiwa Springs State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Regular park entry fees apply.

More Information:
Ranger Station 407-884-2009

Located in the Central region at:
Wekiwa Springs State Park
1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, FL 32712

America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year by rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature and welcome the New Year with friends and family.  This beautiful Florida State Park is offering a Guided Hike for those who want to see birds and plants of Florida in a special way!

You will be starting in the spring area at our Interpretive Pavilion. You will be able to see some of the most pristine plant communities that Florida State Parks have to offer.

We will have a Master Naturalist giving this program and informing you of the flora and fauna within!

You may bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after the hike for a Family Picnic and make it a day to remember!

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike - Through a Ranger's Eyes @ Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

Regular park admission.

More Information:
Call the Ranger Station at 352-473-4701.

Located in the Northeast region at:
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
6239 State Road 21
Keystone Heights, FL 32656

Take a mile hike with a Park Ranger through 3 (three) different ecosystems.

Additional Information:

  Participation Requirements

First Day Hike Among the Ruins @ Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

The entry fee is via Honor Box and is $4.00 (Vehicle) and $2.00 (Walk-Ins and Bikes). Please have exact change.

More Information:
Nicky Makruski at 386-517-2084

Located in the Central region at:
Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park
3501 Old Kings Road
Flagler Beach, FL 32136

Join a ranger for a 1 hour guided hike around the coquina sugar mill ruins, remnants of the manor house, workers village, and see interpretive displays containing artifacts and historical summaries of that time period. Learn about the history of this historic site while strolling along a mulched trail and paved sidewalks. Participants of all experience levels and ages are welcome. We recommend you bring water, sunscreen and dress appropriately for the weather. Afterwards have a family picnic, rent a canoe or re-connect with nature and relax along Bulow Creek. For more adventure and exercise hike the 6.8 mile (one-way) Bulow Woods Trail that connects you to Bulow Creek State Park. Don't forget your binoculars and a camera, you never know what you might see. For reservations please call 386-517-2084 and for any special accommodation needs.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

The cost ($4.50) of the event is free, however, donations are accepted to benefit the Friends of the Islamorada Area State Parks.

More Information:
(305) 664-2540; Gerald.Powers@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Southeast region at:
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
84900 Overseas Highway
Islamorada, FL 33036

Begin the New Year by joining us for a ranger led hike on Friday January 1, 2016 at 10:00 AM. Hikers will gather at the Visitor's Center to begin their journey.

Formed of Key Largo limestone, fossilized coral, this land was sold to the Florida East Coast Railroad, which used the stone to build Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s. After the railroad was built, the quarry was used until the 1960s to produce exquisite pieces of decorative stone called Keystone. Today, visitors can walk along eight-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of the ancient coral and learn about the quarry and its operation- an important part of Florida's 20th century history. Samples of the quarry machinery have been preserved at the park and the park features educational exhibits about the history of this site. With approximately 1.5 miles of trails that wind through a tropical hardwood hammock, visitors are able to observe over 40 species of trees and plants that are native to the Florida Keys.

 

 

 

 

Additional Information:

Windley Key is located at Mile Marker 84.9 on Highway US 1 (84900 Overseas Highway) in Islamorada, FL 33036.

Marmalade Cooking Demonstration on Woodstove @ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 3:00pm EST

Park entry fee is $3.00 per car plus $3.00 per adult/$2.00 per child (6-12 years) for house tour.  Cash or check only.  House tour times which include this demonstration will be 10AM, 11AM, 1PM, 2PM, and 3PM only.

More Information:


Located in the Northeast region at:
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
18700 S. CR 325
Cross Creek, FL 32640

Take a house tour and watch park ranger Carrie Todd & volunteers demonstrate Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ method for cooking marmalade on her kitchen’s vintage woodstove.

 

Additional Information:

This cooking demonstration highlights not only the joy and satisfaction of Rawlings’ ability to use her own locally grown produce, but also the necessity of using preservation methods as a frugal tool in the kitchen.  Other recipes and foods will be used and demonstrated if time permits.

Participation Requirements

"First Day Hike" - Guided Trail Hike @ Lake Griffin State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Pre-registration is required, but the guided hike is free with paid park entry.  Park entry is $5 per vehicle (up to 8 people in a vehicle).

To pre-register or for more information, contact the park at 352-360-6760.

More Information:
Lake Griffin State Park Ranger Station: 352-360-6760

Located in the Central region at:
Lake Griffin State Park
3089 U.S. Highway 441-27
Fruitland Park, FL 34731

Join park rangers for a guided nature hike along the park’s half-mile nature trail!

The guided hike is completely free with paid entry into the park and anyone who wants to participate is welcome. Participants are required to pre-register and should contact the park in order to register or for more information. Hikers will have a chance to see and learn about some of the plants and animals in the park. The hike will end at the park's mammoth Live Oak that is the second largest Live Oak tree in the State of Florida.

This “First Day Hike” is an excellent way to kick off the new year!

To pre-register for this event please contact the park at 352-360-6760. For participants under 18, a parent and/or guardian must be present with the child during the event.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Hikers should try to arrive by 9:45 a.m. and should have clothing, shoes, and gear appropriate for the weather conditions on the day of the hike.

Participants under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Service animals are allowed at all times but all other pets are prohibited on the guided hike.

The Florida Park Service is committed to providing accessible facilities and programs for all people.

Should you require assistance to enable your participation, please contact the park at 352-360-6760.

 

2016 First Day Hike @ Grayton Beach State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 11:00am CST

Park admission fee for Day-Use guests do apply for this event.

$5.00 per vehicle  

$2.00 per bicycle/pedestrian.

 

More Information:
Patrick Hartsfield at 850-267-8300

Located in the Northwest region at:
Grayton Beach State Park
357 Main Park Road
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Grayton Beach State Park invites you to start the New Year out with a little outdoor activity. Join Assistant Park Manager Patrick Hartsfield for a 2 1/2 mile hike through the forest of Grayton Beach State Park. Learn about our local flora and fauna while getting a little exercise on the 1st day of the New Year.

Participants will meet at the Grayton Beach State Park ranger station at 9:00 a.m. on the 1st of January, 2016.

 

Additional Information:

The degree of difficulty for the hike is "Moderate".

Hikers are asked to wear/bring the following: hat, long pants, insect repellant, and closed toe shoes or hiking boots, bottled water.

Sorry but pets are not allowed.

Persons 16 and under must be accompanied by a parent.

Participation Requirements

 

First Day Hike @ Little Manatee River State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am EST

Park entrance fees apply for day visitors:  $5.00/ vehicle (with 2-8 persons), or $4.00/vehicle (with single occupant).  Registered campers hike for free.

More Information:
Kathryn.smithson@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Southwest region at:
Little Manatee River State Park
215 Lightfoot Rd.
Wimauma, FL 33598

Start your new year out on the right foot with a "First Day" Hike!  We will take a 3 mile hike along the 1st loop of the 6.5 mile hiking trail, located north of the river.  Meet at the trailhead parking lot directly off US 301S, across from Saffold Rd.  Wear comfortable close-toed shoes or boots, comfortable hiking gear, and bring your own water canteen. 

Additional Information:

The hiking trail is a rustic trail located in the wilderness area of the park.  There are no bathroom facilities are located along the trail.  Hikers may want to stop at the restrooms in the park proper before the hike.  Under typical trail conditions, hikers may encounter stretches of mud, soft sand, or overhanging vegetation.  Florida State Parks are in various stages of accessibility.  To learn more about the requirements for participation in this activity, please see the Essential Eligibility Criteria - Hiking.  If you need assistance from the park to make your full participation possible, please call the Ranger Station 813-671-5005.

First Day Hike @ Dade Battlefield Historic State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am EST

Program is included in your park entrance fee of $3 per vehicle for up to eight people.  Extra passengers, walk-ins and bicyclists pay $2 apiece.

More Information:
Park Office: 352-793-4781

Located in the Southwest region at:
Dade Battlefield Historic State Park
7200 CR 603
Bushnell, FL 33513

Start your new year the healthy way with a ranger-guided hike along Dade Battlefield's beautiful trails.

Additional Information:

Please wear sensible shoes and bring drinking water.

First Day Hike: Shoreline Exploration @ Lovers Key State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

Free with regular park admission.

More Information:
Ranger Station, 239-463-4588

Located in the Southwest region at:
Lovers Key State Park
8700 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Start your New Year off with an intriguing and interesting walk on the beach.  Come see some of the treasures that wash up along the shore with a park ranger!  Learn about seashells, crustaceans, sea-stars and other creatures that can be found on our shore.  Also, discover what a barrier island beach is all about and what types of wildlife call it home.  Due to limited space, reservations are required.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Big Shoals State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 1:00pm EST

This program is free with paid park admission of $4.00 per car load up to 8 people

More Information:
Teri Graves, Park Service Specialist (386) 397-4331

Located in the Northeast region at:
Big Shoals State Park
Little Shoals Entrance: 11330 S.E. County Road 135 or Big Shoals Entrance: 18738 Southeast 94th St.
White Springs, FL 32096

Park Rangers will be leading an educational hike on the Big Shoals hiking trail. Join us as we explore the environment around you and learn about the park with Florida’s only class 3 rapids. The hike will begin at the Big Shoals parking lot and go to the rapids and return. It will be a 2.5 mile round trip over rough terrain.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Koreshan State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

Free with regular park entry which is $5 per carload up to 8 people or $4 for an individual in a car alone.

More Information:
Ranger Station at (239) 992-0311

Located in the Southwest region at:
Koreshan State Park
3800 Corkscrew Road
Estero, FL 33928

In conjunction with state parks nationwide, join us for our First Day Hike, a guided tour of the historic Koreshan Unity settlement.  

First Day Hike @ Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

The tour is free with park entry.

$4.00 per vehicle up to 8 people

$2.00 per person if you are arriving by foot, bicycle.

More Information:


Located in the Northeast region at:
Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park
4732 Millhopper Road
Gainesville, FL 32653

Start 2016 off right by joining us at Deivils Millhopper Geological State Park for a Ranger Led hike to the bottom of the Devils Millhopper sinkhole.

The 1 mile ranger led hike will leave from the visitor center at 10:00am and will take visitors on a journey around the 500 foot rim of the sinkhole before descending down a 232 step staircase 120 feet deep into the very bottom of this amazing geological wonder “The Devils Millhopper”. Find out how it got its name, the past uses of the area and some interesting folk lore surrounding the sinkhole.

Additional Information:

 Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Curry Hammock State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

No fee for the walk. Normal Park entrance fees apply.

More Information:
Curry Hammock (305) 289-2690

Located in the Southeast region at:
Curry Hammock State Park
56200 Overseas Hwy.
Marathon, FL 33050

Stop in at Curry Hammock for a "First Day" Hike.

Join a Park Ranger for a guided walk along the Park's 1.5 mile nature trail. A great way to kick off the new year exploring "The Real Florida" . The walk is planned (weather permitting) for 10:00 a.m. on Friday, January 1, 2016. Please wear closed-toe shoes as the path is uneven and rocky in some areas. Hydration and bug repellent are recommended. Meet at the trail head one mile south of the Park entrance on US1.

Additional Information:

By car: from the Park entrance, head south on US1 one mile. Look for the paved parking lot on your right. After parking, head back towards the Park (north) on the Overseas Heritage Trail about 300 yards; look for the trail head kiosk on your left. 

By foot or bike: from the Park entrance, take the Overseas Heritage Trail (bike path on the north side of US1) south .9 miles to the trail head kiosk on your right. There is a bike rack just past the kiosk on the left.

First Day Hike - Main Entrance @ Silver Springs State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am EST

Free with park admission.

More Information:
Call the Park office at 352-236-7148, extension 5

Located in the Central region at:
Silver Springs State Park
1425 NE 58th Avenue
Ocala, FL 34470

Start the new year with a hike in the woods! Beginning at 10:00 a.m., take a tram ride from the main entrance (limit 15 people) to the hike location for an easy 1.5-mile walk. Beginning at 1:00 p.m., a longer 3-mile hike will be available from the main entrance as well.

Additional Information:

Enter the park through the main entrance located at 5656 East Silver Springs Blvd. (also known as State Road 40) in Ocala.

Participation requirements.

First Day Hike! @ Oleta River State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Park entrance fees will still apply to all visitors entering the park.

More Information:
(305) 919-1846

Located in the Southeast region at:
Oleta River State Park
3400 NE 163rd Street
North Miami Beach, FL 33160

We would love for you to join us as we bring in the New Year with a one hour, ranger-led hike through the beautiful nature trail in Oleta River State Park. You will be guided by a Park Ranger and will have the opportunity to learn about all of the local flora and fauna that Oleta River State Park has to offer. Come out and experience the real Florida in one of the largest urban parks in the country!

Additional Information:

We advise visitors to be prepared for all weather scenarios and to bring plenty of bug spray for the trail!

Please wear good shoes to walk about 1 mile in.

Bring water to carry along.

First Day Hike @ Suwannee River State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

Fees are $5 per vehicle up to 8 people, free to registered guests

 

More Information:
Sandra Scott (386) 362-2746 sandra.scott@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northeast region at:
Suwannee River State Park
3631 201st Path
Live Oak, FL 32060

Start your New Year off right with a First Day Hike! Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature as you wander down the Sandhill Trail with a Park Ranger. 

Meet in the Day Use Area at 10:00 am

The hike is roughly one mile over various terrain and ecosystems.  Please wear closed toe shoes and bring water along.  Feel free to bring your binoculars and questions for the Park Ranger.

 

Additional Information:

In order to participate in this program one:

· Must have the ability to follow visual and/or verbal instructions independently or with the assistance of a companion.

· Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for a period of 60 minutes.

· Must have the ability to traverse uneven terrain for up to one mile independently or with the assistance of a companion.

 

First Day Hike @ Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

The program is free with your paid entrance in to the park.

More Information:
Joshua Hodson (850) 927-2111 Joshua.Hodson@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northwest region at:
Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park
1900 E. Gulf Beach Drive
St. George Island, FL 32328

Join us for a First Day Hike which will be a one mile hike from the campground to East Slough and back.  Along the way we will explore a few hidden treasures on the trail.  Topics will include ecosystems and plant identification, cat-faced trees and turpentining, and the effects of prescribed burning.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Participants may need to bring sunscreen and bug spray.

First Day Hike @ John U. Lloyd Beach State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 1:00pm EST

Normal park entry fees will apply

More Information:
Carmelo J. Duesler, Park Services Specialist, (954) 924-3859

Located in the Southeast region at:
John U. Lloyd Beach State Park
6503 North Ocean Drive
Dania Beach, FL 33004

This is a day hike that will proceed south through the park’s coastal strand along Whiskey Creek for about a mile and a half. It will return along the beach/dune trail for an additional mile and a half to the starting point (total 3 miles).

 

Beach wheel chairs can be available at no additional charge but reservations will need to be made in advance by calling the park office at (954)924-3859.  We will have a shorter version of the hike available if physical limitations are a concern.

 

Participants are asked to bring sunscreen, water, and comfortable walking shoes. Normal entrance fees to the park will apply.

"First Day Hike" along the Fort View Nature Trail @ Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Free with park admission fee.

More Information:
(305) 292-6850

Located in the Southeast region at:
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
601 Howard England Way
Key West, FL 33040

Come out and celebrate the new year with a ranger-guided walk around Fort Zachary Taylor. Different from the daily fort tour, this walk will connect visitors with native plants and show the fort from a different perspective. From the moat, one can really see the different time periods the fort served. The walk will be leisurely and informal and a ranger will be available for plant and bird identification. Wear comfortable shoes, and don't forget temperatures can sometimes dip into the low 70's. Meet at the monument near the entrance to the fort.

First Day Hike @

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Program free with normal park admission.

More Information:
Ranger Station (305) 872-2353

Located in the region at:
, FL

The First Day hike on a day of new beginnings.  Join a park ranger for a stroll along the beach and then up on the old Bahia Honda Bridge.  Explore the past and present with an exhilarating start to the New Year.

Meet at the Nature Center and remember to bring water, sunscreen and comfortable shoes.

 

First Day Hike @

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Program is free. Park entry fees apply.

More Information:
Bahia Honda State Park (305) 872 2353

Located in the region at:
, FL

The First Day Hike, a day of new beginnings. Join a Park Ranger for a stroll along the beach then onto the Old Bahia Honda bridge where we'll explore the past and the present. Come join us for an exhilarating start to a new year.

Additional Information:

Wear comfortable shoes for beach walking. Bring water and bug repellent.

First Day Hike @ John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

Free with park entry fee.

More Information:
(561) 776-7449, ext. 108, Lu Dodson

Located in the Southeast region at:
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive
North Palm Beach, FL 33408

Take a "walk through time" on a family- friendly trek through a state park close to home. MacArthur Beach State Park in North Palm Beach will sponsor a free, ranger -led hike at 10:00 am on New Year’s Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.  America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1, 2016 at a State park close to home. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature, and learn about south Florida ecosystems while welcoming the New Year with friends and family. MacArthur Beach State Park has a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation, and the First Day Hike will offer an opportunity to explore the unique natural and cultural aspects of the Park. Visitors will “walk through time” as they explore the many different ways humans have utilized and enjoyed the area though out history. The hike will be approximately 1.5 miles long walking on wooden board walks, dirt trails and the beach. Degree of difficulty is moderate. Trails are accessible, please call in advance if a beach wheel chair is needed (561-624-6950).  Plan to wear walking shoes and bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray.

First Day Hike @ Anastasia State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

Regular park admission fees apply.

More Information:
Renee Market 904-461-2035

Located in the Central region at:
Anastasia State Park
300 Anastasia Park Road
St. Augustine, FL 32080

Ring in the New Year at Anastasia and join the First Day Hike Beach Clean-Up. You can choose a section or all 4 miles of beach which are home to important wildlife, such as the endangered Anastasia Island Beach Mouse and shorebirds. We will provide trash bags and a limited supply of pickers. We also suggest participants wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water, a hat, sunscreen, and gloves. Meet at Island Beach Grill inside the park. Event will begin at 10:00 am. All ages are welcome to participate and, as always, our park is accessible for all!

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

America's State Parks First Day Hikes @ St. Andrews State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 10:30am CST

Program is free with regular park entrance fees.

More Information:
Melissa Shoemaker, 850-233-5164

Located in the Northwest region at:
St. Andrews State Park
4607 State Park Lane
Panama City Beach, FL 32408

St. Andrews State Park is hosting America's State Parks First Day Hikes on January 1, 2016. America's State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike along the wildlife viewing trails within St. Andrews State Park. Join Park Rangers for a hike on the Heron Pond and Gator Lake trails.  Two programs will be offer beginning at both 9:00 am and 1:00 pm (CST). 

The Heron Pond Trail starts at a Turpentine Still replica and winds through a number of plant communities where visitors may encounter wading birds and many small animals. The hike will span two trails which are moderate in difficulty and will cover approximately 1 mile in length.

Additional Information:

Participants should meet at the Heron Pond Trail head, next to the Turpentine Still. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes and bring drinking water and binoculars.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Program is free. Park entry fees apply.

More Information:
(305) 872- 2353

Located in the region at:
, FL

Bahia Honda State Park

The First Day Hike, a day of new beginnings. Join a Park Ranger for a stroll along the beach then onto the Old Bahia Honda bridge where we'll explore the past and the present. Come join us for an exhilarating start to a new year.

Seasonal/Holiday

Fees: 

 

 

First Day Hike @ Dunns Creek State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

Free for participants.

More Information:
Park Office, 386-329-3721

Located in the Central region at:
Dunns Creek State Park
320 Sisco Road
Pomona Park, FL 32181

Start the new year off in nature!  Take a hike with a Ranger in beautiful Dunns Creek State Park!  The park is located south of a sharp bend in the St. Johns River, and boasts more than 6,200 acres of natural communities!  Registration is required.  Please register by calling the park office at 386-329-3721 or on our event page.

Additional Information:

Participants will meet at the front entrance of the park, which is under construction.  Then, visitors will travel to the trail head for a 1.5 mile hike.  Sturdy shoes and long pants, sunscreen, insect repellent and water are recommended.  

Directions:  The park entrance is located at 320 Sisco Road off Highway 17 near Pomona Park in Putnam County.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike 2016 @ Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 9:00am to 10:30am CST

Standard park entrance fees are waived for participants.

More Information:
Clayton Iron Wolf- Park Services Specialist- 850-267-8330

Located in the Northwest region at:
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

First Day Hikes are part of an initiative encouraging people to get outdoors.  On New Year’s Day, free guided hikes will be taking place at State Parks around Florida.  Kids and adults will be participating in First Day Hikes, getting their hearts pumping and enjoying the beauty of a state park. First Day Hikes are led by knowledgeable state park staff and volunteers, all hikes aim to create a fun experience for the whole family.  People are invited to savor the beauty of the state parks' natural resources with the comfort of an experienced guide so they may be inspired to take advantage of these local treasures throughout the year.

Join a Ranger for a family friendly hike on The Turpentine Trail. This hike will start off with a short tram ride followed by a 1.5 mile hike traversing an area dominated by slash pines and some old growth longleaf pines.

Additional Information:

Meet at the Tram stop adjacent to the main day use parking area behind the Ranger Station. Make sure that you are dressed in apparel appropriate for the weather. Don’t forget to bring binoculars, camera, water and wear comfortable, closed toed walking shoes.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

Free with park entrance fee: $2.50 per person.

More Information:
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Ranger Station, (30) 451-1202

Located in the Southeast region at:
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
County Road 905, Mile Marker 106
Key Largo, FL 33037

Explore the natural and cultural history of Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock on January 1, 2016. Participants will meet at the trailhead at 10 a.m. and will be given supplies for a self-guided exploration of the beautiful hardwood hammock. Hikers will follow their treasure map to marked locations along the one-mile trail loop. Participants will gather stamps and learn fun facts about the forest along the way. Once completed, the scavenger hunt can be turned in for printable participation certificate. For more information, contact the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Ranger Station at (305) 451-1202.

Additional Information:

Essential Eligibility Criteria:

Must have the ability to follow visual and/or verbal instructions independently or with the assistance of a companion.

Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for a period of sixty (60) minutes.

Must have the ability to traverse roadway for up to one-half mile independently or with the assistance of a companion.

First Day Hike @ Dade Battlefield Historic State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:00pm EST

Park entrance is $3/vehicle up to 8 people, $2 bicyclist or walk-in

More Information:
352-793-4781

Located in the Southwest region at:
Dade Battlefield Historic State Park
7200 CR 603
Bushnell, FL 33513

First Day Hike will include a guided hike by the park ranger on the Fort King Road and Pine Flatwoods trail at Dade Battlefield.   Guided tour will include history and nature. 

First Day Hike @ T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Park entrance fees will apply

More Information:
St Joseph Peninsula State Park (850) 227-1327

Located in the Northwest region at:
T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
8899 Cape San Blas Road
Port St. Joe, FL 32456

St Joseph Peninsula State Park will be participating in the Florida Park Service annual First Day Hike.  A park ranger will interpret habitat and plants as the hike progresses through marsh, scrub and  maritime hammock.  This guided tour will begin at 10:00 am at the head of our maritime hammock trail located at the entrance to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Cayo Costa State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:30am EST

Event is Free with $2 per person park entrance fee.

More Information:
941-964-0375

Located in the Southwest region at:
Cayo Costa State Park
4 Nautical Miles West of Pine Island (26.685789, -82.245381)
Cayo Costa, FL 33922

Cayo Costa State Park is excited to participate in the National First Day Hike held January 1st, 2016 at 10 A.M.  Meet at the Main Dock on the Island of Cayo Costa.  Program includes topics related to the park’s natural and cultural resources.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, sunscreen and drinking water are recommended.  The walk is approximately 1 mile long and will last approximately 1.5 hours. 

First Day Hike @ Gasparilla Island State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am EST

Event is Free with $3 per vehicle park entrance fee.

More Information:
941-964-0375

Located in the Southwest region at:
Gasparilla Island State Park
880 Belcher Rd
Boca Grande, FL 33921

Gasparilla Island State Park is excited to participate in the National First Day Hike held January 1st, 2016 at 10 A.M.  Meet at the Picnic Pavilion next door to the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse.  Program includes topics related to the park’s natural and cultural resources.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, sunscreen and drinking water are recommended.  The beach walk is approximately 1/3-mile long and will last approximately 1 hour. 

First Day Hike / Trek To The Historic Dam @ Highlands Hammock State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:30am to 12:00pm EST

Park entry fees of $6.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people per car) and $4.00 per single occupant vehicle apply.

More Information:
Call the Ranger Station at 863-386-6094 for more information.

Located in the Southwest region at:
Highlands Hammock State Park
5931 Hammock Road
Sebring , FL 33872

Take a journey through forested wetlands from hydric hammock to cypress swamp with Ranger Laura McMullen.  Visitors will take a leisurely walk along the park’s bike path to reach a historic dam with a scenic overview of cypress swamp.  Hikers will transition through these habitats, explore the ecology of hammocks and swamps and learn about their associated flora and fauna.  Visitors may observe air plants, birds and other wildlife, and perhaps sight an alligator or an otter at the swamp.  This “off the beaten path” trek is a pleasant way to greet the New Year!  The “degree of difficulty” of this field trip ranges from easy to moderate.  Registration for this field trip is required as participation is limited.  Sign up by calling the Ranger Station at 863-386-6094 and pressing 0, or contacting Ranger Laura via email:  laura.mcmullen@dep.state.fl.us (link sends e-mail) .  Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Mammal Kiosk, located between the Young Hammock Trail and Cypress Swamp on the Loop Road.  The hike will cover approximately 1.5 miles round trip and take approximately 90 minutes.  Please dress for the weather and wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes, long pants and protective clothing.  Visitors are also advised to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and water and snacks.  Walking sticks will be helpful and binoculars and cameras are welcome.  See Additional Information. 

Additional Information:

Portions of the Trek To The Historic Dam are located in restricted wilderness areas of the park.  There are no restroom facilities along the Loop, so visitors are advised to stop at the restroom in the picnic area prior to the hike.  Florida State Parks are in various stages of accessibility.  To learn more about the participation requirements for this activity, please see the EEC Trek To The Historic Dam.

EEC Trek To The Historic Dam

First Day Hike 2016 @ Caladesi Island State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:30am to 12:00pm EST

This is a free service to the public however visitors will be required to pay the regular park entrance fee of $6.00 per boat for up to 8 people $2.00 for each additional person, and $2.00 per person for individual entries such as kayakers.

To access Caladesi Island's Ferry Service, the Caladesi Connection, arrive at Honeymoon Island State Park. Entrance fees at Honeymoon Island State Park are $8.00 per vehicle (Limit 2-8 people per vehicle), $4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle, and $2.00 for individual entries such as walkers and bicyclists.

The Caladesi Connection ferry travels to Caladesi Island for a four-hour stay. Ferry fees are: $14.00 per adult. $7.00 for children ages 6 - 12. Children 5 and younger ride free.

More Information:
Caladesi Office (727) 469-5918

Located in the Southwest region at:
Caladesi Island State Park
Offshore Island
Dunedin, FL 34698

Don't miss out on the Ranger guided First Day Hike of 2016 at Caladesi Island State Park! The opportunity to observe coastal wildlife and immerse yourself in the real Florida awaits. The hike is approximately 1.5 miles long starting at 10:30am on Friday 1/1/16 at the Caladesi Island Trailhead. 

Additional Information:

For participant requirements please see the following link: FileEEC_CISP1stdayhike.docx

First Day Hike @ Torreya State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:30am to 11:30am EST

A regular park admission of $3 per vehicle is required, there will be no additional fee for the guided hike!

More Information:
Steven Cutshaw, Park Manager 850-643-2674 or email at: steven.cutshaw@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northwest region at:
Torreya State Park
2576 NW Torreya Park Rd.
Bristol, FL 32321

Torreya State Park is proud to once again participate in the National First Day Hike on January 01, 2016. The hike will be Ranger guided and will begin at the Gregory House Overlook at 10:30am Eastern Time.  Hiking will be Moderate to Extreme and will require the ability to traverse natural surface trails with a large amount of topography change. Hiking shoes/boots, water, and appropriate clothing suggested.  The hike will traverse the Civil War Gun Pits as well as through the very rare Steephead Ravine system, river bottom and floodplain. We look forward to seeing on January 1! 

New Year's Day Hike the Hammock! @ North Peninsula State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 11:00am to 12:00pm EST

The cost of the event is free, however, donations are accepted to benefit the Friends of Gamble Rogers State Park. Registration in advance is required; please visit Eventbrite.com to register for this event. Registration will close after the maximum number of participants allowed has been reached.

More Information:
Park Service Specialist Celena Cline, 386-517-2086, Celena.Cline@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Central region at:
North Peninsula State Park
40 Highbridge Rd
Ormond by the Sea, FL 32176

Participants will begin the New Year by journeying with a ranger through one of Florida’s breathtaking ecosystems while learning interesting facts about the hammock, native plants, animals and the ecosystem. The hike will last approximately one hour and will begin at the trailhead located at Smith Creek Landing, part of North Peninsula State Park.

All ages are welcome (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Leashed pets are allowed on the nature trail. Sturdy shoes and long pants, sunscreen, insect repellant and drinking water are recommended. Special accommodations are available upon request prior to the event.

Smith Creek Landing is located at 40 Highbridge Road, Ormond Beach, FL 32176.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike 2016 @ Honeymoon Island State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 11:00am to 11:45am EST

This is a free service to the public however visitors will be required to pay the regular park entrance fee of $8.00 per carload for two to eight people, $4.00 for one person in a car and $2.00 per person for individual entries such as walkers and bicyclists.

More Information:
Honeymoon Island State Park #1 Causeway Blvd. Dunedin, FL 34698 (727)469-5942

Located in the Southwest region at:
Honeymoon Island State Park
#1 Causeway Blvd.
Dunedin, FL 34698

Start 2016 off on the right foot and join Honeymoon Island State Park's Environmental Specialist on the First Day Hike. Learn about the flora and fauna of Honeymoon Island's virgin slash pine forest - home to American Bald Eagles, Great Horned Owls, Ospreys and so much more! Hike starts at 11:00am on Friday 1/1/16 at the Osprey Trailhead.

Additional Information:

Hike is approximately 45 minutes long with moderate difficulty. Participant requirements can be found at the following link:FileEEC_HISP1stdayhike.docx

First Hike @ Faver-Dykes State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 11:00am to 12:00pm EST

Program included with park entry.  

More Information:
386-446-6783

Located in the Central region at:
Faver-Dykes State Park
1000 Faver-Dykes Road
St. Augustine, FL 32086

Join us for the first hike of the year at Faver-Dykes State Park.  Visitors will meet at the ranger station at 11am.  Bring water and wear comfortable shoes!  Spend the first hours of the new year outside in "The Real Florida!" 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Lake Kissimmee State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 11:00am to 1:00pm EST

Free with regular park admission

More Information:
Park Service Specialist Andi Henry, 863-696-1112 andrea.henry@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Central region at:
Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Rd.
Lake Wales , FL 33898

Start the New Year off on the right foot and take a hike! Join a park ranger for a 2.5 mile hike around the Gobbler Ridge loop trail at Lake Kissimmee State Park. The hike is moderate level and is recommended for children 6 and up.  If you have any questions please contact Andi Henry at 863-696-1112 or Andrea.Henry@dep.state.fl.us

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Lake Kissimmee State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 11:00am to 1:00pm EST

Included with regular park admission.

More Information:
Andi Henry 863-696-1112 or Andrea.Henry@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Central region at:
Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Rd.
Lake Wales , FL 33898

Start the New Year off on the right foot and take a hike! Join a park ranger for a 2.5-mile hike around the Gobbler Ridge loop trail at Lake Kissimmee State Park. The hike level is moderate and is recommended for children 6 and up.

Bring a water bottle.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hikes @ Florida Caverns State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 2:00pm CST

Entrance fees are $5.00 per vehicle.

More Information:


Located in the Northwest region at:
Florida Caverns State Park
3345 Caverns Road
Marianna, FL 32446

Florida Caverns State Park will be hosting guided nature walks. Join us for a day of exploration as we stroll through natural communities.  A park ranger will interpret both the floodplain forest and a temperate hard wood forest as you look for wildlife and enjoy the seasonal features before you.

Two guided tours will be offered one at 10:00 am and the second at 2:00pm.

First Day Hike 2016 @ Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am CST

Park admission fees will be waived for participants.

 

More Information:
Rocky Bayou State Park 850-833-9144

Located in the Northwest region at:
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
4281 S.R.20
Niceville, FL, FL 32578

 Come spend the first day of the new year getting back to nature with a hike.

Join a Park Ranger on Friday January 1st, 2016 for a first day of the year hike. This will be a one half mile hike down the Red Cedar nature trail. There will be many plants and critters to see along the way.

Osprey and bald eagles are known to nest within the area. Osprey in particular are often sighted by campers and locals.

Please wear long pants and closed toed shoes.  We recommend using sunscreen, bug spray, and bringing water for hydration.

First Day Hike @ Hontoon Island State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 12:00pm to 2:30pm EST

Park entry and participation in this event are free.

More Information:
Ranger Station 386-736-5309

Located in the Central region at:
Hontoon Island State Park
2309 River Ridge Rd
DeLand, FL 32720

Join a Park Ranger for a First Day Hike at Hontoon Island State Park. Some of the Park’s natural and cultural features will be highlighted during the approximately 2-hour hike.  Points of interest along the partially shaded hiking route will include a Bald Eagle’s nest and an over 7 thousand year old Native American shell midden. Space is limited to the first 15 participants, and will start promptly at noon in front of the Visitor Center.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Hike @ Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm EST

Program is included with park entry.  

More Information:
386-446-6783

Located in the Central region at:
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
6400 N. Oceanshore Blvd.
Palm Coast, FL, FL 32137

Join us for the First Hike of the New Year at Washington Oaks!  We will walk along our beautiful coquina rock beach for a spectacular start to the New Year.  Visitors will meet in the beach parking lot at 1:00 p.m.  Wear comfortable shoes! 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Long Key State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm EST

Free with park admission fees.

More Information:
(305) 664-4815

Located in the Southeast region at:
Long Key State Park
67400 Overseas Hwy
Long Key, FL 33001

Join us for a ranger led hike on the Golden Orb Nature Trail. You will travel 1.1 miles on the loop trail through 4 distinct habitats. This trail may flood at high tide, so please wear comfortable walking shoes that can get wet.

Additional Information:

For participation requirements, please visit https://www.floridastateparks.org/park-documents/Long-Key/participation-requirement

First Day Hike @ Rainbow Springs State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm EST

Free with regular $2 per person park admission

More Information:
Amanda Marek, 352-465-8520

Located in the Northeast region at:
Rainbow Springs State Park
19158 SW 81st Place Road
Dunnellon, FL 34432

Welcome the New Year with a beautiful hike through Rainbow Springs State Park! Join us for good exercise and some good stories about the unique history of this area and how it has changed over the years as you stroll past old cisterns, phosphate pits, waterfalls and pine forests. Hikers should be prepared to walk on uneven unpaved terrain for up to 2.5 miles and 2 hours long in primarily shaded habitat.

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

Program Flyer

No RSVP necessary. Join us at the Headsprings veranda to start your hike. Please wear closed-toed shoes, but and sun protection and bring water.

First Day Hike @ Ravine Gardens State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm EST

Free with regular park admission.

More Information:
Park Office, 386-329-3721

Located in the Central region at:
Ravine Gardens State Park
1600 Twigg Street
Palatka, FL 32177

Start the new year off in nature!  Take a hike with a Ranger on the Ravine Gardens State Park trail system and view the beautiful ponds, plants and critters at the park.  The hike is family friendly; however, there are some steep inclines on the trail.  Registration is not required, but is encouraged.  Register by visiting www.FirstHikeRavineGardens.eventbrite.com or by calling the park at (386) 329-3721.

Additional Information:

Sturdy shoes and long pants, sunscreen, insect repellent and water are recommended.  The hike will be approximately 1.5 miles long and participants should take caution around roots, rocks and low branches, which are abundant on the trail.  Special accommodations are available upon request prior to the event.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ O'Leno State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 1:00pm EST

Free with regular park admission

More Information:
Cindy Preston 386-454-0723, Cynthia.F.Preston@dep.state.fl.us

Located in the Northeast region at:
O'Leno State Park
410 SE O'Leno Park Road
High Springs, FL 32643

Start the New Year by being active!

Join a park ranger on a hike around the Paraner’s Branch trail within O’Leno State Park. This 3.5 mile looped trail will take you through a number of different natural

communities and past several sink hole ponds which provide a window into the Santa Fe River’s underground travels.

Meet at the large cypress pavilion In the picnic area next to the river. Wear comfortable clothing and bring water.

 

Additional Information:

Participation Requirements

1st Day Hike @ Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm CST

Regular $3.00/vehicle entry fees apply.

More Information:
Ranger Station (850) 492-1595

Located in the Northwest region at:
Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park
2401 Bauer Road
Pensacola, FL 32507

Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park would like to invite you to start the new year off on the right foot with a leisurely Ranger-guided hike along the 1.3 mile Tarkiln Bayou Trail.  This trail is ADA accessible, with an "easy" degree of difficulty.  Along the way, staff will share their knowledge of native plants found in the park. 

Additional Information:

Suggested items to bring with you include:  drinking water, a camera, binoculars, a hat, suncreen, and insect repellent.  The walk is both wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Participation Requirements

First Day Hike @ Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm EST

Event is free with Park entrance fees.

More Information:
(561) 745-5551

Located in the Southeast region at:
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
16450 S.E. Federal Highway
Hobe Sound, FL 33455

Interpretive volunteers will lead a leisurely, 1 mile hike along the banks of the Loxahatchee National Wild and Scenic River. Natural and cultural resources of the park will be highlighted for visitors along the way. The hike meets at the Kimbell Education Center at 2:00p.m.

Interpretive Walks and Presentations Schedule for Hugh Taylor Birch State Park @ Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 2:00pm EST

Only park entrance fees apply.

More Information:
(954) 564-4521

Located in the Southeast region at:
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
3109 East Sunrise Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Interpretive Walks and Presentations Schedule for Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
3109 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 – (954) 564-4521

Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is proud to offer the following Interpretive Ranger-guided walks and programs each Friday and Saturday of the month. Please see the walks and programs explanations and their regularly-scheduled rotations. Park entry fees apply $2 per pedestrian, $4 single person in a vehicle, $6 two or more persons in a vehicle. Guided walks are Free. Donations are appreciated and will be given directly to the Friends of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, a 501c3 Citizen’s Support Organization:

 

Every Friday & Saturday
Live Animal Presentation | 1:00pm

A Live Animal Presentation will be held in front of the Terramar Visitors Center – Park Rangers will offer a Live Animal Presentation with our park’s very own resident critters, including the highly Threatened Eastern Indigo Snake, a variation of Florida Rat Snakes as well as variations between Florida-native Corn Snakes. Occasionally the presentation will include native turtle species as well. Rangers will explain the intrinsic value of these wonderful creatures, describe their preferred habits and behaviors and habitats, and allow for direct interaction with guests.

 

First Friday of each month:
Mangrove Habitat Walk | 10:30am

This 1.5 mile walk will commence at the Ranger Station (front entrance) of the park and guide guests past the famous Gopher Tortoise habitat, through Pavilion 1 & 2 area and into the park’s extensive mangrove habitat. Guests will receive a historical overview of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and an introduction to Mangrove habitats as well as the primary species of plants and animals that populate the area. The walk will conclude along the Intracoastal waterway and wrap back around toward the park’s main entrance. The walk will take approximately 1.5 hours. Please wear comfortable walking shoes for the outdoors. Please bring water and any other protective gear dependent upon the season.

 

Second Friday of each month:
Mid-Trail Walk | 10:30am

This 2 mile walk will commence at the Ranger Station (front entrance) of the park and guide guests past the famous Gopher Tortoise habitat. The trail walk will commence approximately half a mile up the main loop drive along what used to be called the “Exotic Trail.” Here, Mr. Birch had planted an assortment of exotic plants including Mango, Citrus, Almond and more. The Mid Trail now features an assortment of Native and non-Native plants. Guests will receive a broad historical overview of the park and hear about the importance of balanced ecosystems in South Florida. A large bee hive is featured along this trail for everyone’s education. Please be advised. The walk will eventually emerge at the north end of the park where guests can take a leisurely walk back to the south end.

 

Third Friday of each month:
Coastal Dune/Residual Slough and Historical Homes Lake Walk | 10:30am

This 1 mile walk will commence at the Ranger Station (front entrance) of the park and guide guests past the famous Gopher Tortoise habitat. The walk will take guests past one of the park’s unique fresh-water ecosystems, the Coastal Dune Lake, and give guests explanations about the formation and evolution of Barrier Island systems. The walk will also incorporate a broad historical overview of the Terramar Estate (Mr. Birch’s home, exterior only) and the Caretaker’s Home, which were commissioned by Mr. Birch in 1940. The walk will continue outside of the Beach Gate entrance and touch on the Endangered Beach habitat that outlines the park’s eastern boundary, touch on protected plant and animal species such as sea oats and sea turtles.

 

Fourth Friday of each month:
Beach Hammock Trail & Sensitive Habitats Walk | 10:30am

This 1 mile walk will commence at the Ranger Station and take guests into one of the last residual Tropical Hardwood Hammock (Maritime Forest) habitats in Broward County. Guests will be explained the unique features that constitute our sub-tropical wooded areas as well as our small, residual Coastal Dune Lake systems. Guests will be given an introduction to the primary plant and animal species that populate these areas. A general overview of the original inhabitants to this part of Florida will be offered as well as historical relations between the first settlers. In addition, guests will be shown the highly endangered Beach Jacquemontia sensitive habitat area and be given an explanation of preservation efforts that are underway.

 

Fifth Friday of each month (for those months with a fifth Friday):
Beach/Dune Habitat and Coastal Walk  | 10:30am

This near-1 mile walk will commence at the Beach Entrance to the park. Guests will be lead around the beach entrance sensitive habitat areas, demonstrating the residual dune plants still residing on the property opposite A1A. Guests will be lead through the underpass tunnel or across the cross walk (once finalized) to the beach. Here guests will explained the unique features, flora and fauna, that constitute the primary dune on the beach. The tour will leisurely browse the coastline, discussing tidal influences on barrier islands, coastlines and explore the vast variety of species populating the areas between the land and the sea. 

 

Mid Trail Audio Tour – Available at all times.
This 2 mile walk can be taken through your own cell phone without a Ranger guiding you! The trail walk will commence approximately half a mile up the main loop drive. The Mid Trail Audio Tour covers a broad overview of the history of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, offers an introduction to its ecosystems and also points out particulars along the path. A large bee hive is featured along this trail for everyone’s education. Please be advised. The walk will eventually emerge at the north end of the park where guests can either take the Intracoastal waterway back toward the front of the park, or take the main loop drive’s east side road back to the front of the park. The Audio Tour is free, but donations are welcome. Please inquire at the Ranger Station about this easy-to-use program.

Additional Information:

Our ranger guided walks range from less than a mile to over two miles. Please read the descriptions carefully. Reusable water bottles are recommended for each tour. Bug spray may be needed.

America's State Park First Day Hikes @ St. Andrews State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm CST

Program is free with regular park entrance fees.

More Information:
Melissa Shoemaker, 850-233-5164

Located in the Northwest region at:
St. Andrews State Park
4607 State Park Lane
Panama City Beach, FL 32408

St. Andrews State Park is hosting America's State Parks First Day Hikes on January 1, 2016. America's State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike along the wildlife viewing trails within St. Andrews State Park. Join Park Rangers for a hike on the Heron Pond and Gator Lake trails.  Two programs will be offer beginning at both 9:00 am and 1:00 pm (CST). 

The Heron Pond Trail starts at a Turpentine Still replica and winds through a number of plant communities where visitors may encounter wading birds and many small animals. The hike will span two trails which are moderate in difficulty and will cover approximately 1 mile in length.

Additional Information:

Participants should meet at the Heron Pond Trail head, next to the Turpentine Still. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes and bring drinking water and binoculars.

Participation Requirements

White Squirrels, Black Bears and Ghost Deer Hike @ Ochlockonee River State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm EST

Day use entry fee applies, $4.00 per vehicle up to 8 people.

More Information:
Ranger Station 850-962-2771

Located in the Northwest region at:
Ochlockonee River State Park
429 State Park Road
Sopchoppy, FL 32358

Join Ranger Carter for a 1.5 mile First Day Hike along the Ochlockonee River and through the park's pristine pine flatwoods.  Start your year out with a chance to get a glimpse of our white squirrels and other wildlife.   Hike will depart from the Campground Host site at 4:00pm.

First Day Paddle @ St. Andrews State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 3:45pm to 5:00pm CST

Program is free with regular park entrance fees.

More Information:
St. Andrews State Park, 850-233-5140

Located in the Northwest region at:
St. Andrews State Park
4607 State Park Lane
Panama City Beach, FL 32408

St. Andrews State Park is offering individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors. Enjoy the first day of 2016 with an evening guided paddle on the beautiful Grand Lagoon.

Bring your own kayak or use one provided by the Shell Island Shuttle. Limited space is available. Reservations are required. Visit the parks' Camper Registration office or call 850-233-5140 to make a reservation.

Additional Information:

Participants should meet at the park boat launch at 3:45 pm (CST). Don't forget to dress appropriately for the weather, and bring plenty of drinking water. If bringing your own kayak, safety equipment is required.

Participation Requirements

Movie Night @ Oscar Scherer State Park

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 6:30pm EST

Free to registered campers.

More Information:
Ranger Station, 941-483-5956

Located in the Southwest region at:
Oscar Scherer State Park
1843 South Tamiami Trail
Osprey, FL 34229

This family-friendly winter program is sure to entertain. Each week features a different theme. Campers can vote for the movie of their choice at the Nature Center, where the movie viewing will take place. Refreshments are provided and campers are welcome to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages and favorite movie theater snacks.

Additional Information:

Located in the Nature Center.